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US concerned at widespread torture of Afghan detainees

US concerned at widespread torture of Afghan detainees

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Mar 05, 2017 - 20:42

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States has identified widespread torture and abuse of detainees by government forces as ‘most significant’ human rights problems in Afghanistaninfo-icon

The State Department in its annual human rights report said  the most significant human rights problems in Afghanistan included torture and abuse of detainees by government forces.

Other volitions included widespread disregard for the rule of law and little accountability for those who committed human rights abuses, and targeted violence and endemic societal discrimination against womeninfo-icon and girls.

The report also covered violence, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians by armed insurgent groups, armed insurgent groups’ killings of persons affiliated with the government;

The State Department said widespread disregard for the rule of law and official impunity for those who committed human rights abuses were serious problems.

The government did not consistently or effectively prosecute abuses by officials, including security forces, it said.

The Talibaninfo-icon and other insurgents continued to kill security force personnel and civilians, including journalists, using indiscriminate tactics such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), car bombs, suicide attacks, rocket attacks, and armed attacks.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) attributed 61 percent of civilian casualties (1,569 deaths and 3,574 injured) to non-state actors.

 “The Taliban used children as suicide bombers, soldiers, and weapons carriers. Other antigovernment elements threatened, robbed, kidnapped, and attacked villagers, foreigners, civil servants, and medical and nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers. Authorities did not effectively investigate or prosecute most of these abuses,” it said.

Other human rights problems included extrajudicial killings by security forces; ineffective government investigations of abuse and torture by local security forces; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, including of women accused of so-called moral crimes; and prolonged pretrial detentions; the State Department said.

Judicial corruption and ineffectiveness; violations of privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, religion, and movement; pervasive governmental corruption; underage and forced marriages; abuse of children, including sexual abuse; were other major human rights problems in the country, it said.

Trafficking in persons, including forced labor; discrimination against persons with disabilities; discrimination and abuses against ethnic minorities; societal discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status; and abuse of workers’ rights, including child labor, were some other human rights issues in Afghanistan, the State Department said.

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